PLEDGE NOW
The Social Game Craze

Social gaming is huge on Facebook and beyond. Now it’s big money, too. We look at the culture and business of social gaming.

Social Games

Social Games - Farmville site detail.

We all remember connecting with friends over a game of cards, Parcheesi or Monopoly. These days, games are more popular than ever—but increasingly they’re virtual and played on Facebook.

In the game “Farmville,” cartoon characters raise barns and harvest virtual crops. In “Sorority Life,” players collect housemates and buy the latest fashions.

And while they’re free to play, the small fraction of serious players who pony up cash for coveted virtual goods means the business of social games is booming.

This Hour, On Point: The big business and mass appeal of social games.

Guests:

Nick Wingfield, technology reporter for the Wall Street Journal. His July 30 article  on virtual goods is “First, Give Away the Game.”

Mia Consalvo, visiting associate professor in Comparative Media Studies at MIT’s GAMBIT Game Lab. She studies digital and casual games, new media, and women’s gameplay and is writing a book about Japan’s role in the gaming industry.

Frank Lantz, creative director and co-founder of Area Code, which creates social games for Facebook and other media platforms. He is also director of the NYU Game Center.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 30, 2015
Shereef Bishay, co-founder of Dev Bootcamp, center, talks with student Ryan Guerrettaz during a class at Dev Bootcamp in San Francisco, Tuesday, April 2, 2013. Dev Bootcamp is one of a new breed of computer-programming schools that’s proliferating in San Francisco and other U.S. tech hubs. These “hacker boot camps” promise to teach students how to write code in two or three months and help them get hired as web developers, with starting salaries between $80,000 and $100,000, often within days or weeks of graduation. (AP)

From barista to tech wiz. Computer coding boot camps are hot. Vaulting their graduates in just months into high-paying jobs. We’ll look at the surge.

Jul 30, 2015
Conan O'Brien speaks at the 43rd AFI Lifetime Achievement Award Tribute Gala at the Dolby Theatre on Thursday, June 4, 2015, in Los Angeles.  (AP)

Who owns jokes? Seriously. In the age of social media, the lines are murky.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 29, 2015
The transit area at Terminal 3 in Singapore's Changi Airport, ranked as the world's best airport by SkyTrax, a UK-based travel consultancy. (WikiCommons / Jay8g)

New York City’s LaGuardia Airport to be torn down and rebuilt. We’ll consider what makes a great airport now, and how the US stacks up to the global competition.

 
Jul 29, 2015
Federal investigators respond to the scene of a shooting at the Grand Theatre on Thursday, July 23, 2015, in Lafayette, La. (AP)

Guns, background checks, and mass shootings. A new outcry over the system that decide who gets a gun and who doesn’t.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Q & A: Scott Walker On The Iran Deal, Huckabee Comments
Monday, Jul 27, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker explains his opposition to the Iran Deal, his record of statewide electoral victory and why he feels he’s set to win the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination.

More »
Comment
 
Q & A: Carly Fiorina On Trump, Sexism, And Being Cut From The GOP Debate
Monday, Jul 27, 2015

Republican Presidential Candidate Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of computer giant Hewlett-Packard, joined guest host John Harwood to talk Donald Trump, the upcoming Republican candidate debate and sexism in modern life.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The News: July 24, 2015
Friday, Jul 24, 2015

You all really, really love to listen to our week in the news segments (that’s great) and we wonder why. Plus: Alex Trebek can’t really sing, in case you were wondering.

More »
2 Comments